Major flooding in Austin from Hermine

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on 九月 08, 2010

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Major flooding is occurring in the Austin, Texas region after Tropical Storm Hermine dumped an estimated 10 - 15 inches of rain over the past 24 hours. The flash flood warning for Austin from the National Weather Service at 4am this morning summarized the danger:

"Areas along I-35 and the Balcones Escarpment in and around the Austin Metro area will continue to experience a very dangerous flash flood event over the next few hours. Numerous evacuations and high water rescues have already been reported by the media and law enforcement personnel."

As wunderground's Dr. Rob Carver reports in his blog this morning, hardest hit was the area ten miles north-northwest of Austin, where an NWS cooperative station measured 10.11" of rain yesterday. The rains have swollen the South Fork of the San Gabriel River at Georgetown, Texas to 50-year flood heights.

Hermine has dissipated, but its heavy rains live on, and are now affecting the Dallas/Fort Worth region, where 1 - 3 inch rainfall amounts have been common. Hermine's rains are still lingering over the hard-hit Austin area, but should remain under one inch for the remainder of the morning. However, this afternoon, additional significant rains are possible near Austin as the sun's heat drives thunderstorm development in the very moist airmass over Central Texas.


Figure 1. Radar estimated rainfall for the Austin, Texas area shows that over fifteen inches of rain may have fallen in the region ten miles north-northwest of the city.

Gaston's remains no longer a threat
Dry air has significantly disrupted the remains of Tropical Storm Gaston, which are now over the Dominican Republic. NHC is now giving Gaston a 0% chance of developing, and no models are calling for development. It appears Gaston is finally dead.

Invest 91 off the coast of Africa
A large, well-organized tropical wave (91L) is just off the coast of Africa, near the Cape Verdes Islands, and is bringing sustained winds of 30 mph this morning to Praia in the southeast Cape Verdes. 91L is under a high 20 - 30 knots of wind shear, but this shear will decline to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Thursday. Water temperatures are warm, 28°C, and 91L has plenty of spin. The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) is well north of 91L, and should not be an impediment to development over the next few days. The models are pretty unanimous about developing 91L into Tropical Storm Igor sometime in the next 1 - 3 days. NHC is giving 91L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday. The GFDL model predicts 91L will be Hurricane Igor five days from now. The storm will track west to west-northwest over the next week, with long range forecasts from the GFS and ECMWF models putting 91L several hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands 7 - 10 days from now. History shows that about 20% of all tropical cyclones that have existed at 91L's current position have gone on to hit the U.S. East Coast; these odds are 10% for the U.S. Gulf Coast, 5% for Puerto Rico, and 10% for Canada. The forecast steering pattern for the coming two weeks from the GFS model shows a continuation of the pattern we've seen all hurricane season, with regular strong troughs of low pressure moving off the U.S. East Coast. This pattern favors a continuation of the sort of tracks we saw for Danielle, Earl, and Fiona, with threats to the northern Lesser Antilles, Bermuda, the U.S. East Coast, and Canada.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 91L (Igor?)

Elsewhere in the tropics
The GFS and ECMWF models are predicting the development of a new tropical wave off the coast of Africa 5 - 6 days from now.

Death toll in Guatemala from Tropical Depression 11E rises to 54
In the Eastern Pacific, heavy rains from Tropical Depression 11E have killed at least 54 people in Guatemala, with many more missing and feared dead. The heavy rains triggered nearly 200 landslides and collapses, causing damages near $500 million. Fifteen landslides hit portions of the Inter-American Highway, burying a number of vehicles and a bus. Tropical Depression 11E formed on September 3, moved over Mexico and Guatemala, and dissipated by the next day. Remnants from the depression may have played a role in the formation of Tropical Storm Hermine in the Gulf of Mexico on September 5.

Guatemala is still recovering from the impacts of Tropical Storm Agatha, which killed 287 people in the country and did over $1 billion in damage in May. This September's heavy rains in Guatemala come on the heels of the rainiest August in Guatemala's history, according to preliminary data from the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH). Rain was more than 100% above average in many parts of the country, and more than 200% above average in some regions. September and October are historically Guatemala's rainiest months, and any additional tropical cyclones which affect the country can be expected to cause more serious flooding.


Figure 3. Satellite image from Friday, September 3, 2010, showing Tropical Depression 11E over Mexico and Guatemala. Image credit: NASA.

Next post
I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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2331. xcool


Member Since: 九月 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
2330. xcool
Tropical Atlantic Imagery not update wt beep
Member Since: 九月 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
2329. scott39
Quoting KoritheMan:


12z ECMWF.
Im only seeing 1 weakness at about 60-65w and then a turn to the W.
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2327. xcool



Member Since: 九月 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting pottery:

Agree.
But take a look at the Central Atl Rainbow loop.
Why is the convection building EASTERLY of the system? The 'leading' edge of the system seems to be the east side. Strange to me....
Thanks.


For one thing, 850 mb vorticity is strongest in the developing blob east of the southern Windward Islands, along with low-level convergence.
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2325. JRRP
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:
I'm even more confused - stay that way much, but with xG, more so. Spin is still there. Convection is still there. No sign of an "L" and not sign of any respect still - I just don't get it!



Think how bored we would be if every storm did what we expected....(my theory is that Gaston is just a punk) :^)
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Quoting beell:


I guess I'm looking at how much shear is created by the easterly component of "wind" on the northern side of the storm meeting the westerlies. Zonal (E/W shear) is the worst for a tropical system.


This is true. I see the zonal shear in the GFS model fields very clearly. I'm just expecting Igor to remain south of it.

But we all have our disagreements. And that's fine. :)
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Quoting scott39:
Is there a forecast for Igor to feel one weakness then go W and then feel another one to recurve?


12z ECMWF.
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It sure seems strange to me, that here we are in the heart of the season, with record high water temperatures in the MDR, and low shear, yet very little sustainable activity. It's almost as if there's an invisible cap on things.

What's missing?

My guess is, the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere are simply too stable, and that we won't see a pick up in activity, until the middle atmosphere cools a bit and a greater contrast between the water over the MDR and the air develops. I don't think it's by accident that we saw Wilma in October, for example.

I don't feel comfortable blaming the SAL for the slow season.
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2320. TXEER
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


speaking of Outlaw...I really enjoy Steve Earle's music.


Agreed...throw in Hank Jr...but to be truthful...I'm a huge U2 fan myself!
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2319. pottery
Quoting KoritheMan:


And from the look of the satellite picture, there's going to be more where that came from...


Agree.
But take a look at the Central Atl Rainbow loop.
Why is the convection building EASTERLY of the system? The 'leading' edge of the system seems to be the east side. Strange to me....
Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL, was waitin for ya to Herm a fish!
Quoting jason2010xxxx:
Tropical Storm IGOR will be a fish storm..
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Quoting will40:


it spawned a tornado up here. That sometimes is a bigg prob with weak systems


Yeah, it can be.
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2316. scott39
Is there a forecast for Igor to feel one weakness then go W and then feel another one to recurve?
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2315. beell
Quoting KoritheMan:


There might be some shear, but I think it will remain just south of Igor's core. You also have to factor in just how much of the shear is associated with Igor's outflow.


I guess I'm looking at how much shear is created by the easterly component of "wind" on the northern side of the storm meeting the westerlies. Zonal (E/W shear) is the worst for a tropical system.
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2314. xcool
Link

look for nam 00z
Member Since: 九月 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting scott39:
So you expect a recurvature at 65W to 70W?


Yes. I think the first trough will miss it.
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Quoting angiest:


More pop (especially Keith Urban). Brad Paisley is sooooo close, has some good songs (Whiskey Lullaby was a great song, written by other people) but he just doesn't quite cut it for me. Of course, I tend more towards Outlaw and, to some extent, alternative Country.


speaking of Outlaw...I really enjoy Steve Earle's music.
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I'm even more confused - stay that way much, but with xG, more so. Spin is still there. Convection is still there. No sign of an "L" and not sign of any respect still - I just don't get it!

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2309. will40
Quoting KoritheMan:


Oh, I'll have to take your word on that then. I didn't really watch Ernesto as heavily after the eastward shift in the track occurred.


it spawned a tornado up here. That sometimes is a bigg prob with weak systems
Member Since: 九月 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4066
Quoting jason2010xxxx:
Tropical Storm IGOR will be a fish storm..


Gotta love Jason.....LOL!!
Member Since: 九月 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 232
2307. xcool
Member Since: 九月 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
2306. unf97
Quoting pottery:

2.25" this evening in Central Trinidad. Barbados about to get soaked....
Pressures still around 1011.



IR satelitte imagery beginning to show convection building just E-SE of Barbados. Also, the models are now latching on to development in this area. Conditions definitely appear favorable for a tropical cyclone to develop within the next 36 hours or sooner.
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Quoting EricSFL:


I was referring to its effect in South Florida. All local newstations were talking about it becoming a hurricane over the Florida Straits (When the track completely shifted northward) and ended up being a 45 mph storm.


Oh, I'll have to take your word on that then. I didn't really watch Ernesto as heavily after the eastward shift in the track occurred.
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Quoting xcool:


wow
COULD YOU SEND ME THE LINK FOR THAT RUN?
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2303. angiest
Quoting TXEER:


Urban and Paisley work for me...but then again Paisley and I are both WVU fans!


More pop (especially Keith Urban). Brad Paisley is sooooo close, has some good songs (Whiskey Lullaby was a great song, written by other people) but he just doesn't quite cut it for me. Of course, I tend more towards Outlaw and, to some extent, alternative Country.
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Quoting pottery:

2.25" this evening in Central Trinidad. Barbados about to get soaked....
Pressures still around 1011.


And from the look of the satellite picture, there's going to be more where that came from...

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2301. EricSFL
Quoting KoritheMan:


With good reason:



I still remember very vividly this forecast. I believe he was forecast to attain 100 kt (115 mph) at day five on this forecast package.


I was referring to its effect in South Florida. All local newstations were talking about it becoming a hurricane over the Florida Straits (When the track completely shifted northward) and ended up being a 45 mph storm.
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2299. scott39
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yes, and this is a very realistic scenario.
So you expect a recurvature at 65W to 70W?
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Quoting beell:


Man, I'm not so sure, Kori. 30-40 knots of upper flow from the west will rip the northern half of this storm apart.

Worth a mention-just to keep it real, lol.

Run this loop (200mb GFS)if you get a chance.

Link


There might be some shear, but I think it will remain just south of Igor's core. You also have to factor in just how much of the shear is associated with Igor's outflow.
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Kori u got mail
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Quoting scott39:
Have you heard any mets talking about Igor feeling the weakness, but then turning back W?


Yes, and this is a very realistic scenario.
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2295. TXEER
Quoting angiest:


Garth Brooks? Meh, more of a pop star (though he had some good songs). Give Jamey Johnson a try.


Urban and Paisley work for me...but then again Paisley and I are both WVU fans!
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2294. angiest
Quoting KoritheMan:


With good reason:



I still remember very vividly this forecast. I believe he was forecast to attain 100 kt (115 mph) at day five on this forecast package.



That would appear to be a seriously blown track forecast.
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2292. pottery
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yes. In fact, the area east of the southern Windward Islands poses a significant threat, if it develops.

2.25" this evening in Central Trinidad. Barbados about to get soaked....
Pressures still around 1011.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormhank:
anyone think Igor will affect the US???
I have a feeling! But I said the same with Earl, and he was a giant dud in these parts!! No one knows until AFTERWARDS!!!
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2290. will40
.A RE-STRENGTHENING OF THE RIDGE IS
FORECAST TO CAUSE IGOR TO TURN MORE WESTWARD. AFTER 96 HOURS
Member Since: 九月 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4066
2289. angiest
Quoting EricSFL:


I Agree. Although Ernesto was far more overhyped than Bonnie.


Other than local newscasters and associated anonymous bloggers here (both of whom habitually do such things, did anyone really hype Bonnie that much?
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2288. scott39
Quoting will40:


yes the NHC even mentions it
Is there another weakness after that one?
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Quoting stormhank:
Kori u think that invest area near the windwards will develop??


Yes.
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Quoting EricSFL:


I Agree. Although Ernesto was far more overhyped than Bonnie.


With good reason:



I still remember very vividly this forecast. I believe he was forecast to attain 100 kt (115 mph) at day five on this forecast package.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2284. will40
Quoting scott39:
Have you heard any mets talking about Igor feeling the weakness, but then turning back W?


yes the NHC even mentions it
Member Since: 九月 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4066
Kori u think that invest area near the windwards will develop??
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
Ernesto? LOL! that was the weakest storm EVER in south florida, other than "bonnie". try harder.


How about Andrew?

enough said, I win
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2281. angiest
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yeah, he's one of the few country music artists I can actually stomach.


Garth Brooks? Meh, more of a pop star (though he had some good songs). Give Jamey Johnson a try.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.